‘Missão Continente’ releases annual report

The 2019 ‘Missão Continente’ Report, now presented, reflects all of Continente's social responsibility initiatives and its commitment to building a sustainable future. It also represents appreciation to all the Institution's partners for their involvement and support in all projects.

Among the Missão Continente’s commitments, we highlight:

Promoting the reduction of food waste

In 2019, ‘Missão Continente’ donated a total of 12.3 million in food surpluses, of which 8.5 million were delivered to 1,013 social solidarity and animal support institutions throughout the country and the rest made available internally in the stores’ and warehouses’ social areas.

Conscious of the limited resources on the planet and the growing demand, Missão Continente works to fight food waste, seeking to make the most of all resources, reintroducing the by-products of the transformation processes in the life cycle or reabsorbing the surplus of the distribution processes, such as Bread Beer as an example - a craft beer produced with bread scraps and crumbs that come from Continente’s bakeries, in collaboration with the ‘Vadia’ brewery.

Encouraging healthy eating and lifestyle

As Food is a focus area of Continente's activity, this theme has gained prominence in Missão Continente’s scope, in the sense of contributing to the promotion of healthy lifestyles and eating habits, reduction of food waste and raising awareness for conscious consumption.

The Missão Continente School Program, which aims to support primary schools in raising awareness of healthy eating and conscious consumption, addressing topics such as healthy diets, food waste or the importance of recycling, involved 333 schools from all over the country and 31,406 students participated in the program's activities.

Within the scope of the Missão Continente Donative, and with the contribution of the Portuguese, social intervention and sustainable development projects are supported annually across the country. The 2018/19 edition supported, with 240 thousand euros, 12 national projects dedicated to Healthy Eating, Food Waste and Social Inclusion, counting on the involvement of different Missão Continente’s partners to identify and evaluate the hundreds of received applications.

In 2019, nutritional optimization plans were also concluded for more than 60 products, which translate into annual reductions of 47 tonnes of salt, 200 tonnes of sugars in liquid yogurts and crackers and more than 25 tonnes of fats in Greek yogurts.

Raising awareness of conscious consumption

Missão Continente has been activating circular economy projects in order to fight waste. Examples are sweets & chutneys made from fruits and vegetables that lose their commercial attractiveness; Panana, a cake made with banana pulp that is withdrawn from sale and Bread Beer, a craft beer developed together with ‘Vadia’, produced with surplus bread from Continente’s bakeries.

The ‘Banana Solteira’ project aims to encourage the purchase of bananas that have been separated from their respective bunch, being left alone, and thus reducing food waste. In 2019, the waste of these bananas decreased by 25% compared to the previous year.

Supporting the Internal Community

In 2019, the ‘Somos Sonae’ program supported 343 people, covering employees and their household.

The ‘Flex it Up’ program - launched last year - is one of the initiatives implemented within the scope of the Improving Our Life (IOL) movement, and whose purpose is to enable access to different flexible work initiatives that allow employees to integrate the various moments of their personal and professional life, according to their needs. This program symbolizes, simultaneously, a change and disruption in relation to some paradigms that are associated with the retail sector.

The ‘Qualifica Sonae MC Center’ promotes education and the recognition of skills, contributing to improving the population’s education level. In 2019, the ‘Qualifica Sonae MC Center’ had 1,400 subscribers and has already certified 277 people.

Good Environmental Practices

In 2019, Continente launched a platform entirely dedicated to the plastic theme: plasticoresponsavel.continente.pt/ which reflects its commitment, initiatives, but also national and international news, in addition to tips for better use of this material.

This launch is within the scope of the Commitment to the Responsible Use of Plastics, which also includes a set of other initiatives that have been advanced by Continente, of which the following stand out: the signing of the international pact “New Plastics Economy Global Commitment” led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (in collaboration with the United Nations’ Environment Program); the intention of 100% of the more than 750 million Private Label packages that are placed on the market every year, to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025; reducing the use of virgin plastic - either by reducing or eliminating its use, or by replacing recycled materials - or; promoting reuse, creating alternatives to conventional plastic bags for fruits and vegetables, among many others.

In 2019, the first plastic free supermarket, in the fruit and vegetable section, was opened: Continente Bom Dia Via Catarina Shopping, in Porto.

Within the scope of the initiatives developed by the Strategy for the Responsible Use of Plastics, Continente has already reduced more than 4,200 tonnes of Virgin plastic.

Another way of spreading the importance of environmental sustainability has been through the initiatives that ‘Missão Continente’ dedicates to different stakeholders in society, such as the II Great Survey on Sustainability in Portugal, which provides civil society with several insights on public opinion about the theme.

About ‘Missão Continente’

‘Missão Continente’ represents all of Continente’s social responsibility initiatives and its commitment to building a sustainable future. In this sense, it has been working in several quarters, focusing on initiatives that meet the needs of today's society.
With a strong focus on Food, ‘Missão Continente’ promotes healthy lifestyles and eating habits, works to reduce food waste and raises awareness on conscious consumption.
It is an active part in the communities where it is present, through support for internal and external initiatives and promotes respect for the environment through the promotion of good environmental practices and awareness raising for the adoption of responsible behaviour.

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